Making the most of freezing season with soul-warming grub
It’s winter and that means fine food is popping up all over the capital. Whether it’s dining in an igloo by the Thames or hunkering down in a speakeasy and sipping whisky cocktails, you’ll find something to chow down on in Mr Hyde’s pick of the best London spots.
Winterville (SW4) is a one-stopper for the best of London fun: there’s ice skating, a immersive cinema, power ballads, mini-golf, a fairground and a separate load of activities for kids (yes children, go play in your ball pit while the Grown-Ups do Grown-Up things, like sip port and discuss the works of Proust *makes a bolt for the nearest Dodgem*).
Most importantly, there’ll be a whole army of gut-botherers on site with only one damn thing on their filthy minds: serving you the best street food the game has to offer. With Street Feast and Truck Stop on the buttons again, it’s a stellar line-up: Up In My Grill, Raclette Brothers, Born & Raised, INK and loads more. Nov 15-Dec 23
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There are some madlads like Alpes in Pop Brixton who’ve been serving fondue since summer, but for most mere mortals, Alpine munch is only just starting to float back into view.
Winterland (SW6) has got the stuff in droves, with stalls dotted up and down Fulham’s Thameside beach offering schnitzel, pizza and more. That rebrand as a proper yeti-level snowlord is coming sooner than you think: there’ll be a karaoke booth, retro gondolas and chairlifts, a fire pit and curling.
Also expect multiple bars where you can sip on cocktails and try to forget the fact you just did an air punch and shouted “Victory… shall be mine!” after scoring one point against a first-year uni student at prosecco pong. They really have thought this one through. Opens Nov 8
3. Jimmy Garcia’s The Lodge on the River
In a world where screaming telly chefs make it seem like a burst blood vessel is a requirement of good cooking: an antidote. Jimmy Garcia is the extremely laid back king of pop-ups and he’s returning to the South Bank (SE1) for the winter.
The entire set menu is a sight to behold, but the Alpine fondue is a real standout: mixed charcuterie (lovingly imported by Jimmy’s dad, obvz), new potatoes in Kentish rapeseed oil dressing, and a sourdough baguette. Expect fireworks from the steak sharer too – that’s 600g of British flat iron steak sizzled on a hot stone, with confit garlic mayonnaise, chimichurri and peppercorn sauce.
Grab a sharing flask or a hot cocktail and chomp your spoils in one of the igloos to be in with a shot at nailing the elusive Yvon of the Yukon AW18 look. Nov 9-Dec 31
4. Double Barrel
Odd name for a pub that, The Theodore Bullfrog. It sounds more like the protest of a boozed hedge-fund manager being kicked out of a club (“I am The Theodore Bullfrog!”). Nonetheless, it is a pub, and Double Barrel (WC2) is the pop-up that’ll be filling its insides with whisky and decadent speakeasy vibes this winter.
There’s 50% off the saloon grub on Nov 7–8, like the Bulleit St Louis Ribs, slow-cooked Pork Shoulder Tacos and the Whisky Mac Cheese. The spirits on offer are at the more accessible end of the spectrum, like the Beckham-backed Haig Club, but that’s no bad thing – just leave it for a night with colleagues or mates rather than yer whisky snob father-in-law.
The bartenders are able to whip ‘em up niftily, too, like the Barrel Aged BBQ Fashioned, imbued with smoke, orange and jerky, or the Folsom Prison Blues, with blueberry sherbet, bourbon and whites. Nov 7-Spring 2019
5. Night Tales Bohemia Place
Granted, this isn’t a pop-up as such. There was a whole lotta noise when Night Tales (E8) first soft launched back in summer, but that was when the seating was peach coloured and there was a waterfall on the premises. Times, like temperatures, change, and Bohemia Place’s winter revamp is an ice cold KO to the very idea of LED rays and Aperol spritzes.
The Night Tales boffins have put together a new seasonal cocktail menu featuring doozies like the Lost in Translation (rum, pineapple, lemongrass, tonic) and Cold Brew Martini (vodka, cold brew, agave, cacao), but if that’s not reason enough to visit, the Japanese in-house grub offering recently became a Proper Restaurant. Fat Baby is serving British ingredients like grilled Norfolk quail, overseen by Greg Round, previously of highly respected Mayfair spot Umu.